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Scaling Your Content Protection as Streaming Surges

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By Ali Hodjat


Well, it’s certainly been an eventful few weeks…to say the least. As human beings, we are just as concerned as the rest of the world about the growing crisis brought on by the coronavirus, but as streaming video pros, we can’t help but notice the impact that the outbreak and resulting “stay home stay safe” requirements have created in the world of streaming.

This past week, reports have shown a significant increase in streaming video viewing around the world, causing the EU to worry about network capacity and ask Netflix to reduce video bitrates – a request Netflix has agreed to and was quickly followed by YouTube and Disney+. 

With the increase in streaming, so goes an increase in video piracy. In an oddly meta sort of way, the movie Contagion – which isn’t streaming on any of the most popular subscription streaming services in the United States – has seen increasing piracy on torrent sites, following a pattern similar to the spread of coronavirus. 

At Intertrust we also witnessed a huge increase in DRM license deliveries to OTT operators served by our cloud-based ExpressPlay Multi-DRM Service. The diagram below depicts the (relative) worldwide daily multi-DRM license volume in the last 15 days, with a doubling – and even tripling – of license deliveries in the last few days. To keep services up and running, a multi-DRM service  must scale instantly in response to major spikes in DRM license requests. This preserves the viewing experience and supports the rising number of concurrent viewers we have today, as a result of “stay-at-home” regulations imposed by authorities in many countries around the world.

Number of daily license volumes during the coronavirus pandemic

In these unprecedented times content owners are changing their business models to get their content to those who need it for a distraction, comfort or just to pass the time. However, the content pirates are hard at work as well. Content owners must be more vigilant than ever to protect their revenue streams. As pointed out by Andy Chatterley, CEO of MUSO.com, a digital piracy data firm: 

“Non-traditional piracy users who stumble upon their first [piracy site] may not even be aware that it is a piracy site, but when they discover they can watch 1917, The Invisible Man, Jojo Rabbit, Birds Of Prey and everything else they may have wanted to watch – and it’s free! – there’ll be no going back.”

Like so many others, your streaming service is likely grappling with the “problem” of high demand from legal and illegal sources alike. Now is the time to ensure you have a robust multi-DRM solution in place – one that can scale with the demand that may only just be beginning. We’re here and we’re committed to serving your needs through this difficult time and beyond. 

Ali Hodjat

About Ali Hodjat

Ali Hodjat is a Director of Product Marketing at Intertrust Technologies. He has extensive experience in leading product management and product marketing activities in the fields of content protection and pay-TV security, anti-piracy, and IoT security solutions.